The SOVA Project is happy to feature this blog post written by one in our team of fantastic SOVA Ambassadors—these are young people who help create meaningful blog posts from adolescents’ perspectives.
It’s January 2019. It’s the start of a new year. And although I don’t believe a new year makes everything better, this is the year to help make your mental health better, whether big or small. So here are some ideas:
Start therapy For those in high school or college, you might have access to free therapy through your school. The idea might seem stressful or you might think you don’t need it, but talking to someone who isn’t a family member or friend in a judgment free zone can be very helpful. Sometimes it makes you think about yourself in a different light.
Be kind to your physical self I know sometimes the willpower is gone or you’re too stressed and anxious to do anything, but getting up and doing things like taking a shower, exercising, or eating a good meal can really change your mental health. It’s much easier said than done, so taking it slowly is always a good idea. Even just going for a walk or doing a few push-ups can help, and it doesn’t need to be a super hard workout. Eating your favorite food is always good, but eating healthy and consistent is the best thing to do.
Think more positively I know when I’m depressed or anxious, I become super negative and mean, but I feel like I can’t change it. So, during times when you feel okay, write down things you’re happy or grateful about so that you have a tether when you are anxious or depressed
Download an app There are tons of mental health apps nowadays. Although you may need to experiment to find one you like, it’s beneficial. I personally like Youper and Moodpath. Youper and Moodpath are essentially the same: both have AI assistants with quick conversations. They track your mood over days and links factors of your mood with things such as food or socialization. They’ll give you potential triggers as well. It monitors your anxiety and depression and gives biweekly checkups. They also gives a personality test from the very beginning to customize the program to you.
Go easy on yourself Life is hard with anxiety and/or depression. Like, so much harder than people think. It’s an extra weight, so make sure you aren’t being self destructive because when you get in a bad mindset, that tends to be the case.
Have you talked to your child about adapting any strategies or tips for the new year? Have you noticed if they have done anything new this month that has worked for their mental health?